After spending five days on the Big Island, my daughter’s family, my older son and his wife, and I flew to Honolulu with the main goal of seeing Pearl Harbor together. Katie and her family would fly home that night, Matt & Kaleena were staying a few more days north of there, and I was flying home the next day. Unfortunately this is a blurry photo but I like the image. I sat in the row in front of Kirby on this short flight. We picked up a rental car (had to upgrade to carry all of Kirby’s luggage) and drove to Pearl Harbor. The monument includes several memorials and museums and it would be easy to spend a full day immersed in this history …but not with a toddler on board. We chose to tour the U.S.S. Missouri while waiting for our assigned time to see the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. (Unfortunately all boat rides to the Arizona were cancelled due to windy conditions.)The USS Missouri was the last battleship built by the U.S. and was the site of the Japanese surrender, ending WWII. The ship also served in the Korean War and, after being modernized in 1984, in Desert Storm.The Missouri is now a permanent museum in Pearl Harbor.There were a couple of photo opps before entering the ship.
A lot of the ship is accessible and there is a wealth of information covering the three eras when the ship was in use. It would be easy to spend several hours taking time to absorb everything. I have included just a few photos here.There is a display about the Japanese pilots who died in kamikaze attacks near the end of WWII. It is a moving exhibit but I don’t understand what can drive a young man to this end during that era any better than today’s suicide attackers (although I thing there is probably a world of difference in their reasoning). So sad…as are all parts of war.
There is a warren of passages below the main deck where people worked, ate, and slept.
The living spaces for 1600 enlisted men were spread throughout the ship.Part of the modernization in the 1980’s.Back on the main deck we looked up and saw…Katie, Kurtis, and Kirby.A disappointment was not being able to go to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. This memorial is directly above the Arizona that still holds many of the 1177 men who were killed during the bombing that sunk the ship. During the day my thoughts kept going back to the National Museum of the Pacific War, the moving exhibit in Fredericksburg, Texas (birthplace of Admiral Nimitz) that we saw in July (blog post here). It’s well worth your time if you’re traveling in that area.Toddlers don’t care about this stuff. Chasing birds and picking up flowers from the lawn are more their style. (If I chose to make this blog more commentary and opinion this would be the point to discuss innocence and when/how does it change.)
After spending much of the day at Pearl Harbor, we found my hotel in Waikiki. Katie, Kurtis, and Kirby relaxed there while waiting to catch the red-eye back to California. I had one more day of exploring.